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Polynesian Blue Records Half Year Profit Of NZD$3.62m

23/02/2007

Polynesian Blue, the joint venture airline of the Government of Samoa and Virgin Blue Airlines, has announced a pre-tax profit of NZD $3.62 million (approximately $6.8m Tala#) for the 6 month period 1 July 2006 to 31 December 2006 - more than three times the result for the 8 month period 30 October 2005 to 30 June 2006 of NZD $1.19 million.


This second strong performance for Polynesian Blue since its launch in October 2005 is in part attributable to a 52.6 percent increase in the number of Australians holidaying in Samoa during the period January to November 2006, versus the same period in 2005. The number of New Zealanders holidaying in Samoa during the same period also increased significantly (at 28.5 percent).^


Commenting on the result, The Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa, said "We are very pleased with this continued success and we look forward to steady development of the airline over time.”


"Polynesian Blue is already generating positive benefits for the country and the airline is continuing to be profitable. We have moved from subsidising the national airline service to receiving income from it which is very important for the economy and provides opportunity to steer funds into other priorities. The Polynesian Blue board has demonstrated great courage and dedication in ensuring the success of this joint venture.”


Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, applauded the Prime Minister and the Samoan Government for its creative vision and also paid tribute to Polynesian Blue staff.


"Considering that the airline operation is less than two years old, this is a very good result and demonstrates what can be achieved through a good partnership,” he said.


"Polynesian Blue is already well established and much of its success is now due to the hard work and great attitude of our dedicated Polynesian Blue team. It is through their efforts that we run the airline efficiently, look after our Guests and are attracting a loyal following in Samoa, Australia and New Zealand and supporters around the world.”


During the period January to November 2006, 30.7 percent more people traveled from Australia to Samoa and 16.1 per cent more people visited Samoa from New Zealand to visit friends and relatives, as compared with the prior corresponding period.


The airline was launched in October 2005 as a joint venture between Virgin Blue and the Government of Samoa and now operates three direct flights weekly to Apia from Sydney and five direct services weekly to Apia from Auckland.


Polynesian Blue was named "2006 Best New Low Cost Airline" in the Centre for Asia Pacific Global Airline Awards.


Outlook


Polynesian Blue said its outlook for the second half of the year was optimistic but acknowledged that the first half results were expected to be the strongest due to travel patterns to and from Samoa associated with Christmas and seasonality.


# Based on average exchange rate for period July to December 2006. ^ Source: Samoa Tourism Authority, National Department of Statistics

Polynesian Blue is a joint venture between Virgin Blue and the Government of Samoa. For Polynesian Blue bookings, contact your travel agent or log onto www.polynesianblue.com. Flights are offered by Polynesian Blue Limited using Pacific Blue Airlines (NZ) Limited aircraft.